Early Years Experiences - EYITT case study - Cathy Nute

Cathy Nute works in Cornwall at Trailblazers Nursery near St. Austell and has a degree in Early Childhood Studies, achieved four years ago. Last September Cathy started out on Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) on the Graduate Employment Based Route. She is training with Best Practice Network through the University of Wolverhampton and is part of the Bristol training group.

I left university in 2011 with a degree in Early Childhood Studies. Straight after graduating I continued with my part- time job as a personal shopper for the local supermarket but the 4am starts soon got the better of me and just six months later I started on my new venture - working in the foundation stage at Trailblazers Nursery within Treverbyn Academy. I soon worked out that I had made the right decision and a career in the early years was definitely where I wanted to be.

After working at Trailblazers for two years I decided that I wanted to do more. So Early Years Initial Teacher Training became the natural progression in my career path. Trailblazers Nursery is located within the china clay community of Cornwall and the majority of the children are from vulnerable backgrounds and diverse communities. I wanted to deepen my understanding of child development and make a positive and lasting impact on the children’s education experience, as well as being a positive influence on their overall development and wellbeing.

Now that I am halfway through the EYITT course I realise I have learnt a lot about myself and I believe that I have become a reflective practitioner. That hasn’t been an easy journey - juggling the commitments I have through my job and the workload of this course. The journey ahead is also going to be tough but I am excited about it and I am looking forward to starting my placement with babies. Having limited knowledge of this age group, I am eager to get started. Having a plan allows me to keep on track and guides me through. Keeping up to date with my journal entries and working through the e-learning study packs has helped me to get to where I am today. It’s hard work but definitely worth it.

This learning journey has truly been incredible. I have enjoyed opportunities to go to different settings and meet people who share the same passion for their work. The course is all about giving children new opportunities and the very best chances of achieving their full potential. Every day is a learning journey for me - challenging my thinking as well as my practice.

Without the support of my setting I wouldn’t be where I am today. They are more than just colleagues, they are lifelong friends. They have been flexible with new ideas and have all come on this learning journey with me. I cannot thank them enough for their support and encouragement.

Also, the support and feedback I get from my Best Practice Network tutor is extremely constructive allowing me to progress effectively. It is important to make the most of this support or you can find yourself in a dark place and end up feeling alone. However, making time for yourself as well as responding positively to is the key to ensuring stability.

The EYITT opportunity is invaluable. The Government funds the training and also funds my setting which receives £7,000 to release and support me. I am so glad that I took the plunge onto the course and am looking forward to the second and final part - working with babies and delving deeper into the standards in my portfolio. 
I would recommend Best Practice Network’s EYITT course to you. It is hard work but at the end of it you will achieve Early Years Teacher Status, a specialist teaching status designed just for those of us who want to develop in this rewarding career, leading the learning and care of our youngest children.